All posts tagged: traditional

Jaha Son Mandu | Korean Dumplings

This was one of the greater Korean food experiences I’ve had in Seoul. I love mandu. I love big ones, baby ones, fluffy ones…I love them all. Then I discovered mandu casserole, Mandu Jeongol, and my life will never be the same. It’s unbelievably scrumptious and I don’t use that word often. The pot is heated at your table and it’s packed with spicy broth, veggies and meat.  To balance out the meat in our casserole, we tried two other vegetarian options, the kimchi  mandu and cucumber and mushroom mandu. We washed my new favorite food down with a Korean wine made from black raspberries, Bokbunjajoo. You can buy it pretty much anywhere, but it’s delicious and I love it. It’s thick, sweetness was a perfect sidekick to the most amazing dumplings. Looking for Jaha Son is not for the faint of heart…it’s tucked far back in Baum-dong. If my Korean friend, Phil hadn’t been there, I would have had a hard time finding it. He was able to tell a taxi driver just where to …

Seochon-dong | Hanoks & Whimsy

  Situated to the West of Gyeongbokgung, Seochon, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Seoul, is an obvious treasure. It’s name is simply, “west village,” but that doesn’t embody the liveliness and warmth that you can experience here. Seochon hanoks were under threat of massive redevelopment and destruction up until 2008. The concerned took measures to ensure the preservation of the hanoks in this area, like that of Bukchon, the hanok village on the other side of Gyeongbokgung. And we should thank our lucky stars that this beautiful area has been saved and updated so that generations to come can walk through the streets and buy up all the things. Or just look around, that’s okay too. 🙂 In Robert J. Fouser’s book, Hanok, The Korean House, he explains how this area is an example of the neo-traditional style, or the “mixed hanok.” This new genre allows for experimentation and, perhaps more importantly, the expression of the owner’s personality. Like the city of Seoul itself, they appear similar from afar but sparkle with the color of individuality up close. Not to …

The Food of Paradise

The trip I took to Bali over Christmas was a once in a lifetime opportunity for a gal from the Midwest. To fully experience the true essence of Bali I decided to join a traditional cooking class and shove food all in my face. The cooking class at Paon is entertaining, delicious and inspiring. For a measley $24 USD, you spend the morning in the Ubud market learning about fruits, vegetables and spices they use in Balinese cooking, are given an introduction to the family and hosts (Who are amateur comedians, I think), directed to the most beautiful kitchen and work together with a group of strangers who become cooking comrades among knives and hot coconut oil. There was a real sense of community and fun as we cut, chopped, fried, skewered, mashed and rolled real Bali ingredients with real Bali spices.   So let me take you through the culinary dream: We were ushered into one of the most beautiful houses I’ve ever seen. The Balinese homes are several rooms situated among a type of small compound. Their home …

GongBoo Cha | Traditional Tea House

Never underestimate the power of wandering around aimlessly. It’s honestly how I find most things in Seoul…or anywhere, really. So, when I suggested going for a walk last Saturday I was very happy to find a new traditional tea house in my neighborhood. And the place is ADOREable. They provide so many types of tea that you’re bound to find something you’ve never heard of. I didn’t want to be too adventurous though and opted for some oolong because I already knew I love it. Plus, it was quite hot, I was quite sweaty and an iced oolong sounded amazing… it was. There was a single staff member there and she was so kind to my talkative friend who asked her many questions.  (She also gave him a couple free samples.) They don’t just sell tea there, they know tea, like academics. They hold classes, ceremonies and even take field trips to China to learn more with fellow tea enthusiasts.  There are walls of tea and tea sets. There is a small, beautiful room for classes as well. It …